Change Bi-fold Doors to French Doors

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I have lived with a broken bi-fold pantry door for 3 years. I guess it hasn’t always been broken. Occasionally I would fix it, and put it back on its track. Only for one of the kids to attack the door in an attempt to get a handful of goldfish. And boom, it would be broken again.

This week I had enough of that darn door.

My mom was visiting so I thought together we could tackle this door and turn it from a cheap builder grade bi-fold door to a super fancy double door. And it worked. Well it may not be super fancy, but at least it has a bit of character now.


Change Bi-fold Doors to French Doorspantry-door-makeover

Basic bi-fold door.

To complete this simple project you will need to purchase 6 hinges (I only bought 4 so I have to add 2 more), a double magnetic catch, and 2 door knobs.

Since I always seem to struggle with hinges I have taken a picture of the ones that worked for us. The hinges and magnetic catch were bought at Home Depot.

replacing-pantry-doorYou may also be able to re-use the hinges from your door. I only had 3 and they were all covered in paint. New hinges were only about $2 each so it wasn’t a big deal.

magnetic-catchThis is the label for the magnetic catch. I’m sure any of them would work.

how-to-remove-bi-fold-doorTo start remove door from track. And remove all hardware, top track, hinges between door, and any hardware along the bottom of the door. Remember the bottom of the door. We hung our doors and realized there was a screw on the bottom of one of the doors that we hadn’t removed and was now scratching the floor.

pretty-pantry-doorMeasure & mark on the door where you want each of the hinges (same on each door). Pre-drill the holes.

pantry-doorAttach hinges to doors first.

magnetic-catchAdd magnetic catch to top. Make sure it’s centre so that both doors hit it. We held the 2 doors up to be sure before we screwed it in.

Now attach the doors to the door frame (pre-drill the holes in the door frame). You will need one person to hold the door and another to drill. Be sure to hang the door high enough so that it catches the magnetic catch.

Once the doors are up you can add the magnetic plates to the back of the 2 doors.

Now check to see if the door closes. If you have a gap between the doors you can add a piece of wood to one side (but this means you will always have to close one door first).

With my doors we couldn’t actually close them. So we had to do some major sanding. I mean major.

chaning-bi-fold-doorYou can see my little helper vacuuming up the dust. After a ton of sanding the doors finally closed.

how-to-add-door-knobsWe painted the door Seal by Martha Stewart. Love it.

To hang the door knobs I got lazy. And instead of measuring I just added tape using the door molding as a guide. Drilled 2 holes and added the knobs.

add-knobs-to-pantryI found the knobs at Anthropologie for $8 each. It was way more than I wanted to spend but after a week of searching for knobs (could not find ones with a 1.5 inch screw) I just gave up. Besides who doesn’t love a trip to Anthropologie?

Once I removed the old door handle I just used some spackle to fill in the hole, sanded it and you can’t even tell there was once a door knob in the middle of the door(even with the faux wood grain on the doors).

apron-storageNow I have storage on the inside of the doors.

pantry-doorspantry-door-makeoverMy pantry door is now much more functional. And I no longer want to kick it every time it falls off the track. So that’s pretty awesome.

This project took about 2.5 hours including painting. Although if we didn’t have to do all that sanding it would have been much faster.

So are you going to give it a try? If not just give your pantry door a fresh coat of paint and some pretty knobs. Why not add some charm and character to your pantry?

Now just to tackle the inside of that pantry. Ah who cares no one sees that anyways.

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242 thoughts on “Change Bi-fold Doors to French Doors

  1. Even easier….just buy the upper and lower pivot hardware for a bifold and add to the other door. Remove center hinges and you’re done. Already perfectly gapped. Still need the magnetic latch.

    • Hey Sean,
      Saw your comment and am intrigued. I want to do this to my bi-fold pantry door and like the idea of less steps but I’m not familiar with upper and lower pivot hardware and how it would apply to the french door conversion. Is it something that is used with the existing track system that the bi-fold opens with? I do understand removing the center hinges :-)

      • Hi Terri,

        I haven’t done this one myself yet but have contemplated either this, or simply adding flat bracket to tie to the two doors together into a standard swinging door and fix the trim so it clears.

        For what I originally posted, pull the spring pin and remove your bifolds and look at the hardware at the pivot side. You can usually buy that hardware. Add the pins to the other door and remove the hinges between them. You would no longer be using the sliding pin in the track.

  2. I have a 2 panel bifold door the framing around the door is just plaster. So its not set up to install hinges. How can I support second panel to use as a French door setup?

  3. Hello! I am in the middle of attempting this project… However, I’ve reached a dead end. I removed the track and floor piece from the broken bifold system. As well as the decorative piece of overhang trim (that hid the bifold door track). I drilled the hole for the new knob on the unknobbed side of the door. ;) I grabbed my husband to help hold up the door to align, dot and pre-dill for the hinges- this is where the problem is. There is a 2 inch gap between the length of the door and the door frame. I can’t hang it even with an inch on top and an inch on bottom or the magnetic clasp will not reach. To allow the clasp to reach, the door would have to be almost the full 2 inches off the floor- which looks very odd. Anyone else run in to this problem? Any solutions on how to solve it?

    • I just came across this last night and am thinking of doing this and will run into the same problem you’re having. I think the solution is to add wood behind the current door trim to build it out so the molding is flush with the top and sides and there isn’t that gap.

    • I would install a transition at the bottom to fill the space. I am going to do this for my pantry and master bath and think I will have the same problem. They sell the wood transitions at the home improvement stores- cut to length and paint any color you need. :-) Hope this helps.

    • Put a piece of decorative molding on the bottom of the doors to fill an inch of extra space.

  4. I refurbish lots of furniture and Hobby Lobby is the place to go for knobs. Just make sure you go when they are 50% off, you can’t beat that. If the screw that comes with the knob isn’t long enough or is too long, just go to your local hardware store that sells screws individually and you are all set.

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  6. Awesome knobs at Hobby Lobby for 1/3 of the price. Also a huge selection. I did the same thing you did. Got my knobs (12) @ Anthropologie for a crazy amount of money then discovered Hobby Lobby. The doors look amazing! Great idea and wonderful job.

  7. Could you not get whatever knobs you want and get the correct length screw at the hardware store? I’ve gotten cabinet knobs and used them on closets after getting longer screws. or is the depth of the threaded area an issue?

  8. Thank you for posting this! I have been going crazy trying to find french Bifold Louver doors for a water closet in my master bath remodel. I have been working with my contractor to find a solution and thought, Hey! Why couldn’t we turn louvered bifold doors into french doors? So I googled exactly that and found this. Thanks so much! It was very helpful

    J. Jeffries
    Memphis, TN

  9. Inspired by your gorgeous and functional transformation I just found old bi-folds (2 for $25) to transform my tiny bathroom and pantry. I only bought two hinges per door, but was told I needed 3. After looking closer at your post I only see 2 per door, how has that worked? The doors aren’t super heavy, so I thought it would be sufficient. How has it held up?

    Thank you so much for the beautiful inspiration.

  10. I live in a 70’s house and evidently these bifold doors were a big seller back then. I have two sets in my hall for the linen closets, two sets in each of the three bedrooms and one set on my pantry. I think I will start with my pantry first. Thanks for the help.

  11. I am so IN LOVE with this idea. I’m so excited I think I’m going to go rip mine down and get started right now… I already have hinges since we recently moved in and I’ve been swapping out the door hardware. Thank you so much for posting this! I love the color you choose too!

  12. Looks great, I have double doors on a bedroom closet, I may try that with them, they stay off track and we just leave them open.

  13. You are a GENIUS! I just had a door fall
    off the track AGAIN and I wanted to throw it out the window. Totally doing this instead. Thank you!!

  14. WOW! I love this and I work tax season pretty heavy, so I keep a list of projects to do right after April 15th. This is at the top of my list for this year. I had a flood in my basement several years ago because of a leak in my water tank and the room was trashed and redone, but the doors have never been right again. One set stays on the post, but just swings all over and the other, mostly tips over and bonks me on the head. THANKS SO MUCH!! A fix I can do myself…

  15. Love this! I have the same basic boring doors in the same place in my kitchen and in my son’s room. I’m doing this as a weekend project this year. Great Idea! Thanks for sharing.

  16. I have done the same on four panel bifolds. Used flat metal strips on the back to make two doors into one and then proceeded as yourself. Mine had a drywall return so I first had to build out the sides with solid wood and then cut the width of the door. I did eight sets so it was a bit of a project, but well worth it. Never again will I have a bifold in the house. Good job.

  17. WOW! Fantastic! I just found this while searching for doors like your “after”. I am starting with an empty space. I have a door frame with no door between my bedroom & bathroom…very 1980’s. Do you think I should buy a bi-fold door & do the makeover like you did or do you have any other ideas? Your finished look is just perfect!

    thx! amanda

  18. Are your door hollow inside? Wondering if this will still work for all my hollow bi-fold doors. Thanks

    • did you attempt this with your hallow doors? I have hung mine and they will not close. Thinking of trying to sand them?

  19. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out how to make better use of my pantry closet. I was wondering if I could change my big old door to something that I could add some wire shelves to and this is going to work perfectly. Thanks for the great how to.

  20. Did this to my son’s room after many years of the doors just laying in a pile. They look great! Great idea, thanks!

  21. Hi there, how long did it take you to sand down the doors. Mine wot close and over lap quite a bit. Did you do one or both?

    Thanks you

    • I sanded both sides, and I used a little hand held power sander (Black & Decker Mouse sander) it didn’t take a crazy amount of time, I’d say 15 minutes or so. It just makes a big mess!

    • Try removing your hinges then chiseling out a space for them into the side of the door. This will give room for the doors to close. Otherwise you can take them to Lowes or home depot and they can cutoff the edge for you for a small fee.

  22. Great idea! I’m trying to see in your pictures, but is the molding around your doors flush to the frame on the inside edge? Ours overhangs to the inside all the way around so I think it would hinder the doors from opening out if I tried this.


  23. Bifold doors are the bane of my home! Six boys don’t make for a compatible existence. (Although I think one person is too many for use of a bifold door!)

    So I just altered our bifold doors in the upstairs bifold doors on our hall linen closet. I can’t count how many times they were fixed and then even replaced.
    But now, thanks to your very helpful tutorial, alas, I expect successfully closed doors at all times. Well, at least now the potential is there! Silly boys and doors that can’t close on their own.

  24. We’re going to try this today because I can’t stand our bifold pantry doors…can’t wait to see how it turns out..thanks so much for the inspiration and not having to buy new doors! :)

    • I pray I can do this, mine has been broken for 8 years! I now have chairs and boxes to keep them from falling because I can no longer get it on track. I have two bi-fold doors that meet in the middle, the door is like yours and open in the middle. Do you think your solution will work?

      • Yeah I totally think that it would still work with a double bifold door (don’t know if that’s the proper term). You will just have to attach the middle of each door together in the middle to make it 2 doors that close. Does that make sense at all?

        • My doors are the same. I want to leave the bifold part alone but hang them on hinges to the side door frame instead of the goofy hardware on the top. I’m thinking 2 magnetic catches for the top edge if each door and wondering if 2 more magnetic catches to the side of the fold would be needed.

  25. When you do your double doors and figure out what type of bracket you used to make the four into two doors, please let me know….I have the double doors on all my closets and pantry. Love this idea….thanks so much!

        • Love this! I too have double doors I want to try converting to the French door style. Thanks so much for posting this fabulous idea to help get my wheels a turnin!

      • We took an old solid wood front door that had panels and a flat center part-between the panels, a typical 6 panel door. I want ed to use it to make French doors for my hall so my carpenter cut it down the middle and then hung each 1/2 with standard hinges. We used a ball closure at the top to keep the doors closed and he installed standard passage way door knob on each door. They are beautiful and because he used the solid wood exterior door, once they are closed to the living area, it is very quiet in the bedrooms. We were remodeling the house so he was able to build the wall and frame the opening to accommodate the door. He was closing in what was once just an unframed opening to the hall which I hated.

  26. I clicked through for your tutorial very interested in viewing your french door conversion. Unfortunately, you did not convert your bi-fold door to french doors, but rather to double doors. Traditionally a french door has divided lite glass, but a single pane is also considered a french door. A french door may consist of a single door or multiple doors.

    You did a nice job on the double door conversion.

    FYI… A better catch system for a pantry door setup like you’ve created would be a ball catch mounted a the top of each door.

  27. Hello,

    How wide is your pantry doorway? I was hoping to try this with our bedroom door to give it an upscale feel but am wondering if our doorway is not large enough for it to look nice. I look forward to your response.


    • Amy, I’m curious if you got this to work! My daughter’s bedroom has a door, window or vent on every wall making furniture placement tricky since she outgrew a twin bed. I am trying to figure out if I can replace the regular doors with these bi-fold “French doors” so they don’t intrude so far into the room! Her bed is in a corner against two walls so she doesn’t have to open the door all the way to the wall to get around it and her bed if the bed is anywhere else in the room! Thanks!

  28. Is the inside frame of the pantry door wood? Or is is just finished drywall with trim mold on outside of pantry door as mine is? Just wondering if you screwed the hinges into wood or dry wall. Love it! Thanks!

  29. Thanks for the idea! I hate those top mounted double bi-folds I have. I have wanted to put them on hinges for a while. Glad to see it works!

  30. Hiya! I’ve had this idea pinned for weeks and weeks, collecting the perfect knobs, etc. Today was the day to clean the closets, get the winter gear out and gung-ho on the doors! I haven’t painted them yet but it was easy! They’re not perfectly straight yet and need some tweaking (was doing solo) but loooooooove it already. Now to do the hall pantry doors that I loathe!

  31. Thanks for the idea. I have bi-folds on all my bedroom closets, and while they don’t fall off or anything, I hate that I don’t have easy access to one side of the closet. Sooo, you know what projects I have coming up next, don’t you? Love the idea and look!

  32. My bathroom has a bifold door and I hate it!!! I want to do this but I will need knobs on both sides of the door! Do they sell little knobs like that?

  33. I’m planning on doing this project this week. Just a quick question, you said you needed 6 hinges but I could only see 4 in the pictures. . . can you do this with 4 or is 6 better? Also, what is the approximate placement of the hinges?
    Thanks so much for your help. .. . this is such a great idea. . .I hate my bi-fold doors!!!

    • Sorry to just be responding today, for some reason this went to my spam folder. Anyways, yes I only used 4 hinges but probably should have used 6. I actually went out and bought 2 more but the thought of taking the door down and adding the other 2 is just too much work, lol. Having 3 on each side will just give it extra support. But so far my door is just fine with only 4 (but my doors are also very light weight). And as for the placing I put them about 10″ down from the top and 10″ up from the bottom. Not really sure what the proper placement should be, but that worked. Good luck with your project!

  34. Thanks. I cannot access nearly enough of my closet space with these by fold doors and the ones that came with my house are cheap and cheesy. It’s really the lack of functionality that bugs me. I am so glad that I stumbled on this. I think I can do this!

  35. Did you have a problem with there being a gap between the bottom of the door and the floor? Looking at my doors there is a space on both the top and bottom and I am scared that if I hang the doors a little higher (so that the magnetic catch works) that there will be too much space on the bottom and it will look funny.

  36. This is awesome! They look so much better. Love the black. I can’t remember where I found you, but so glad I did! I’m following via Feedly. I’d love it if you would share this at “What We Accomplished Wednesday,” at Green Willow Pond. It goes live on Tuesday nights. Have a great week!


  37. Absolutely brilliant! A beautiful solution to my new home’s off-the-track-and-I-want-to-bash-it-in-with-a-crowbar problem! Now, if I can just find a how-to on how to change oversized mirror closet door with nasty 80s trim to sleek and elegant French door, I am in business!

    Seriously though, I had no idea on on how to deal with the pantry. Thank you SO much!

  38. This project is EXACTLY what I have been planning to do with my pantry doors. My only question: didn’t you need to add wood to the inside of the door frame once you took the bifold doors and tracking off? To make it flush with the trim? When my bifold doors were on, they were set behind the trim about 3/4″, so a regular hinged door won’t work unless I bring that part out? I don’t know if I am making sense, lol. In your “before” pic, the doors look inset like mine were.

    Thanks again for the great explanation!

    • Hmmm, yeah I think you’re right that the door was inset a bit. But I brought the doors flush with the trim around the door frame. The hinges that I bought (the ones shown in the post) allowed the doors to open (some hinges won’t allow you do this if the door is flush). So I didn’t need to add wood to the inside of the door frame. I hope that answers your question. But everydoor is put up differently so you may have a different situation than me. I hope I helped.

      • Do you have a small gap between the doors and frame due to the width of the hinge, or did you cut a mortise for the hinge (either in the door or the door frame)?
        Love this idea!!

        • Hey Melanie, I didn’t notch out a spot for the hinges (which is actually what you’re suppose to do, but I’m lazy) and when I hung the doors up I thought there would be a gap but there wasn’t. I actually had to sand the inside of the door down to get them to close. I hope that helps.

          • The sanding you had to do is a direct result of not recessing the hinges. I think a router would give the required inset much easier than sanding “a ton”.

            Doing this project on the pantry and the linen closet right after the family goes home after Christmas!

            Do you have any ideas for transforming double bi-fold closet doors? I HATE my bedroom closet….

            Thank you!

          • Yup that’s right but I didn’t have a router so I had to improvise. I also have a double bi-fold door that I want to do this on. I think for it I will have to buy some sort of brace the screw into the back of the doors to turn the 2 doors into 1 (so you end up with 2 and not 4). I haven’t tried yet, so not exactly what they’ll have at the hardware store to achieve this.

  39. Thank you!! I now have a clever way to hang my sons closet door! I plan to use command hooks for the inside of the doors to store his hats and belts! AWESOME!!!

  40. I love it…..I have a pantry door that drives me nuts…this would be an awesome fix. Thanks for sharing.

  41. I am so excited I came across this on Pinterest. The bi-fold door in my kids’ room is off the hinges and so annoying. Plus they love to play in there while they are suppose to be napping. By doing this I can 1. fix the door and 2. I can put a child safety latch thingy across the knobs to lock it so they don’t play in there. Genius! I am going to the hardware store tomorrow and luckily my hubby has off this weekend, I think I know what we’ll be doing for a few hours on Saturday or Sunday. I just found your blog and am looking forward to exploring it more :)

    • Thanks so much Lori (and tell your hubby I said I’m sorry, if he’s like my husband that’s not the way he wants to spend his weekend :). If you run into any problems shoot me an email, I may have run into the same issue. But it’s a pretty simple project I’m sure you won’t need to. Enjoy your DIY weekend!

  42. You are a GENIUS! I so want to do this, but my pantry has 2 sets of bifolds. Still might be able to figure it out by buying 2 doors the next time they are on sale or finding a pair at the local ReStore ….thank you for sharing!

  43. Such a fabulous idea. One question for you, though…are other doors in your house painted dark like this? And if not, does the one set of doors painted differently look ok? I just love the color and want to do this to my linen closet, but it is one of four doors in a hallway (at the end of the hallway) and I’m afraid the different color would look out of place. Any hints/thoughts?

    • Good question. It is the only door painted dark (although the interior of our front door is also black) and I don’t think it looks weird. I think it works because both of those doors are different than all the other regular doors in our house. I think if your linen room door is a different size than the other doors it would work. You could always try it and if you hate it, just paint it white again.

  44. BRILLIANT!!!! My boot room closet door drives me nuts and one of my boys closet door too…a woman after my own heart…I love doing this stuff..and I as well, never tell hubby when and what im doing….I plot I scheme, get my plan of execusion…trouble shoot and go at ‘er! Tahnks for the idea!!! Its brilliant and I cant wait to tackle it

  45. Oh my goodness this is just what I needed! We just bought our first home and the door from the kitchen to the upstairs is a bifold. I took it out the third day after fixing it twice already and was trying to resign myself to no door there for a few months while we spent $ on more immediate needs – but now I can fix it right away for cheap! Do you have any thoughts on two way hinges for this? Might have to remove some door frame molding but I think it could work…

    • Congrats on the new house Haley! I’ve never used a 2-way hinge before, but I would just go to your local hardware store and ask someone in that department. They’ll be able to show you exactly what hinge to use. I always end up buying the wrong type of hinge when I do these types of projects. I’ve just learned it’s easier to ask someone who knows what they’re talking about :)

      • We also just bought our first house and we have four sets of bi-fold doors, I am so doing this. My first tackle is the laundry room, one side is always falling off the track and driving me insane. So this weekend watch out doors, here I come!!!

  46. Awesome idea, but my closets have 2 sets of bifold doors! I think that using your idea, I could just buy 2 full sized hollow core doors? Those dang things either A fall off, or B never shut all the way. Sick to death of them after 15 years.

  47. This is incredible. Now when I look for my new house the by-fold door pantry won’t be an issue.

  48. You are BRILLIANT! Thank you so much for this idea and the excellent, excellent tutorial! I have been kicking my stupid bifold doors for years! After 17 years in this house, with my two daughters who are now in their 20’s, I’ve had enough of the stupid things. (And my apologies for the over use of the word stupid. bi-fold brings out the worst in me.) Can’t wait to try this out! My hub is skeptical, but I have your plans in place. Can’t wait till he goes to work!

    • lol, I know my husband NEVER would have agreed to do it. I never even mentioned it to him. Just did it when he was at work one day (with my mom’s help) and he came home and it was all done. Sometimes it’s just easier that way :). Good luck with it Laura, let me know if you run into any troubles with it.

  49. Thank you SO much for this post! I had this exact idea and I had no idea how to convince my husband it would be possible! How much did you spend for extra supplies (hinges, magnet board, etc.)?

    • That’s so funny Denna! I had the same problem I knew my husband would never go for this. So I didn’t even mention it to him. I waited 6 months for my mom to come and visit and we did it while he was at work. He came home and it was all done. As for cost the magnetic catch in the middle cost about $4 and I needed 4 hinges which I think were about $3 each (but you may be able to reuse the hinges that are on the door (depending on how many are on there). So for about $16 you can do it.

  50. Can you come do mine you make it look so simple :) Really I can’t wait to try this. Hate the bi-folds we inherited and there are a few. Strange … I think my bi-folds have one bigger panel on the one side…is it just me or has anyone else observed this at home? Hmm might not work out for me then :(

    • Oh I haven’t heard of one bigger panel on one side. But you’re right it wouldn’t work if that was the case. But I totally promise that if your panels are both the same size than it’s totally easy to do. I have NO construction skills at all, and it was a simple project. I was about to rip the door off and just throw it out so I figured I had nothing to lose. If I messed it up, no big deal.

      • I have began the process. Thank you for the inspiration. I am converting 5 rooms! I will send you a pic when I’m done. Again thanks for posting this for all of us DIYers :)


  51. You’re my new favorite person! I’ve been living with one double bi fold door on and one off of my laundry closet(which is right off my kitchen) for 5 months. Got tired of fixing the one so just took it off and chucked it into the garage. I’ve been racking my brain on what to do about the door way though and this is PERFECT!! I get to reuse what I have(always a bonus on a single mom income), cover my laundry closet, AND add some very sought after character and funk to my new house!!! Triple whammy!!! Thank you!!

    • Amanda I love that! I’m so happy I could help you out. It really was a simple project, you’ll just need someone to help you hold the doors when you screw them on. Please let me know if you run into any problems, and I can try to help you out.

      It’s always the best when you can just reuse what you already have.

  52. Danielle – such a great idea! I too have a bi-fold door that I have long since given up on fixing & fixing over and immediately over again. But mine is a little different and I was wondering if you had any advice/solutions to fix it.

    My bi-fold door is actually a bedroom door, and as such it really does not do a good job in terms of privacy (since it’s always broken as is). Would there be anyway to do a switch to french doors that would be more secure than the magnetic closure? Thanks so much in advance, I really appreciate it.

  53. I love this! Our newly-built-last-year entry closet STILL has no doors on it as hubby didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on closet doors. THIS is the perfect solution! Cheap bi-folds are always for sale second hand…and I can do this myself while he is at work and surprise him! Thanks so much for the inspiration! Yay…no more looking at coats, shoes, hats, gym bags, umbrellas, etc!!

    • Cheryl that is so awesome! I’m glad I could help. If you live near a Habitat ReStore they always seem to have bi-fold doors.

      • yes, they have bi-fold doors at the Restore, because they’re made like crap, don’t work, and people donate them. I don’t know how many times our handyman neighbor has fixed ours!We have the original, cheapy, hollow bi-fold doors that came with the house. Will this project work?

  54. I hated my pantry bi-folds, and pinned this tutorial for future use. Well, last week they broke again!

    I now have the doors rehung and need to sand. What did you use for sanding? I can’t tell from the picture.

  55. I wonder if this could be modified for a double folding door. Also, is there just as much room to reach in and get things as there was before the mod?

    • Yes you can do this with double doors. Just use a metal brace to attach the back of the doors together. I plan on doing this with my laundry room doors. And as for space it actually gives me a bit more space because with the bifold doors folded up into the pantry so now the right hand corner of the pantry is actually more accessible.

  56. I too live in a builder basic home with my husband and two kids and am annoyed by all the closet openings that are made to fit the door rather than the amount of space in the closet. I love this idea and was just speaking to my husband about doing this a week ago. Very cool that I happened upon your site. Question: Did you attached the door hinges to the door casing/moulding or the wall just inside the closet?

    • Good question I attached the hinges to the wall just inside the door. The proper way is to chisel a hole in the wood frame so that your hinge sits flush (check out another door in your house to see what I mean). But I thought I would screw that up and then have to replace the whole door frame casing so I just screwed the hinges in and then had to sand the edge of the doors (once the doors were all installed). I hope that all makes sense.

      • My daughter wants to make some changes to her bi-fold doors and I was wondering if you had recessed the hinges as would be found on most doors so thanks for that bit of info. Each recess represents 1/8″ typically and yes that will affect the required gap between the doors. Temporarily set the hinge in place with the mounting screws so the hinge acts as a template then scribe the hinge outline with a good box cutter. Square corner hinges are easier to cut by hand than the round ones. Yes a wood chisel works best here for removing the waste. Adjustments to the depth can be made with wood or cardboard shims as required to square up the doors if necessary.

        • Wayne, I didn’t recess the hinges into the door frame. That’s obviously the proper way to do it, but I thought I was a bit too advanced for my skills :). Instead I just sanded the edge of the doors.

  57. This is one of the best DIYs I’ve seen yet! I have three sets of double bifold closets and would love to covert them into french doors. Thank you so much.

    • Thank you so much for saying that Donna! It really was an easy project that you can totally do yourself (you’ll just need someone to hold the doors for you-it will make it 1000x easier). Good luck!

      • A piece of scrap wood, even a toy, under the door helps. Wedges can make this adjustable and a flat pry-bar is even easier especially if placed over a piece of scrap as a fulcrum so the whole door can be raised and lowered with one foot or wedged up to the proper height as required.

  58. Oh my gosh, I LOVE this idea! When I moved into my house, I converted my hall closet into a pantry/utility closet, but those darn bi-fold doors block a good portion of the shelves. I am so going to do this – thanks for the inspiration!

  59. I have a coat closet in the hall entry. Hate that bi-fold door gotta Ty after my guest leave :)

  60. You are a lifesaver! We have 3 of these horrible bi-fold doors in our home and this is going to work so much better! Thank you thank you thank you!! I’ve pinned this post.
    Saw you featured at Fox Hollow Cottage.
    Debbie :)

    • I love this Debbie, so glad I could help you. I still have to do my laundry room doors, can’t wait because they are also driving me crazy.

  61. I’ve been wanting to try this but I do not have the confidence that I will hinge it right. I am thinking of just using additional bifold hardware and leave the track up and just separate the doors.

    • Elise you could always take the door off (remove the hinges between the 2 doors and on the one side that it’s attached to the wall) and leave the track up. Then attach the new hinges on the 2 sides. And if it works then you can take the track off and just add the little magnetic catch at the top. And if it doesn’t work then it’s not a big deal to put it back as a bifold door if it doesn’t work. But really this was a very simple project. I’m sure you can do it. The only thing is it really does take 2 people. My mom helped hold the doors as I hung them again. Just be sure to hang the doors high so that if you do use a maganetic catch the doors will actually hit the catch as they close. I hope this all makes sense. Good luck, you can totally do it!

  62. I love this article. I am wondering if it could possibly be adapted to a double bi fold door set. I would think I may need to just get new doors.
    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful idea!!!

  63. Thanks for linking up! The doors are fantastic! I especially love that you chose black…It really pops! Feel free to join any of the upcoming link-ups!

    • I’m so happy to hear that I have saved you some money. That’s exactly why I have this blog. Good luck converting your doors and just ask if you run into any issues or have any questions.

  64. I have been wanting to do this to the entrance door in my TINY master bath. When the door is opened, it takes up a huge portion of the bathroom.
    The only thing I need to figure out is how to lock them for privacy.

  65. I just found this on Pinterest and was wanting to do this to replace a full door in my linen closet. Since the existing door was a normal door, there are spots where the hinges were routed out in the door frame, did you just install the hinges without routing out a spot for them?


    • Jenna that’s actually way better. Just place the new hinges in those routed out spots, and then you wont have to do any sanding of the door to get them to close. I didn’t rout out a spot for the hinges because I didn’t have the tools/ figured I would butcher the door jam. So I had to sand the sides of the doors to get them to close.

  66. Not only am I going to pin this, I am going to DO IT!!!!!!! We have bi-fold doors on our laundry closet off the kitchen. They’re stupid and they never stay on the track. I have fought with those suckers for 8 years now, and I’m sick of it. This seems like the perfect solution! I will have to adjust the “cure” a bit as ours are double bi-folds (if that makes any sense) that meet in the middle, but that will just take a little thought. Thank you! You may have saved those doors from meeting a grisly end in the wood chipper! :-)

    • Lol Alycia! Yay I’m so glad you’re going to do it too. I plan on doing my laundry room doors too and they are also the double bifold doors. I plan on just attaching a metal plate to the back of the 2 doors and attaching them as one door. Hope it works out for you. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. It’s so nice to hear that my readers are actually going to try one of my tutorials.

  67. I absolutely love this idea! I have bi-fold doors in my laundry closet and a bedroom closet. They are so obnoxious to open and close. Definitely will do this! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

    • Of course, thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I’d love to hear if the doors work out for you.

  68. OMG!!!!!!! I found this right in time. My closet door came off yet again this morning and I was stomping around saying some not so nice words to myself trying NOT to put it threw the window when I seen this on Pinterest. This is now going to be my weekend project for the three closets. THAK YOU so much I think you may have prevented my little boy from learning a few new words lol.

    • I totally understand what you mean Lisa. I’m so glad I could help. My only advice is stick with it. Several times throughout this project I thought I had ruined the doors and didn’t think it was going to work at all. With a bit (maybe a lot) of sanding I got the doors to work. And I’m totally amazed at how well they work now. I was just doing this as a temporary measure until we could afford to get a real door put on. But we love them so much we’re just going to leave them on. They are so sturdy and open and close really easily. It’s amazing what about $10 in new hardware can do.

  69. What a brilliant idea – would have never thought of that!!!
    And love the color and the yellow handles!
    Fabulous transformation ( visiting from One Artsy Mama )

  70. this is such a great idea! I dislike our kitchen bi-fold door so much! I am working on improving our kitchen, and I will be adding this to my list, actually I think it will go on top of the list and hopefully get done this week end, well may be not the painting! thanks for a great tutorial!

    • Oh this makes me so happy that you liked the tutorial enough to try it! You’ve made my day Morgane. It really was a very simple project. I have no skills when it comes to carpentry but this was easy. I’d love to hear if it works out.

      • so I did it this morning! It was a fairly fast project, the only problem: old house where nothing is square or straight! but it is already so much better than before,
        and it has not been painted yet! (which means old hole
        and unpainted areas!!) thanks again!

        • That’s so awesome Morgane! I’m so glad it worked for you. I understand the whole old house problem. Our last house was 120 years old and nothing was square. But it was so much more charming than the house we’re in now.

      • I was so impressed with this tutorial, that I am actually in mid-door transformation!! I have one question….how did you patch the hole in the door center where the original handle was? I was just going to slap some spackle on it but feared it would cover the wood grain pattern. I can’t tell where your hole was?

        • Anna that’s exactly what I did. Just used some spackle that I had in my garage. You can’t tell at all. I was a little worried about being able to see it too. But you can’t tell at all.

  71. I LOVE this idea!! Will definitely be using it to turn a closet near my kitchen into a Command Central Cubbie! Thanks for the tutorial!

  72. Gorgeous doors – this is such a creative idea for sprucing up an old door. Love it! Thanks for sharing this at The Weekly Creative!

    Shannon @ Sewing Barefoot

  73. This is an amazing idea! We bifold doors on our “laundry closet” and we want to change them to French doors… I’m not sure this would work for our space because we have two bifold doors that meet in the middle, but I would SO be trying this if there were only one.

    I’d be thrilled if you’d link up at this week’s Off the Hook!

    • Lauren I have the exact same doors in the my laundry closet and I plan on doing this with them. But since they are double bifold doors I am just going to add a little metal plate to the back to attach them and make them one door instead of 2 panels. You will see a little crack between the door but that’s OK with me. I hope that makes sense. I plan on doing it in the next month or so and I’ll post the results on my blog.

  74. Great tutorial, Danielle! Now, if only I had a bi-fold door to remodel at my house! Love the knobs, too!

  75. I love this tutorial! What a great idea to add character to a home! I also loved checking out your black and white striped laundry – so cool!! I’m in the Raleigh area too!! So glad I came across your blog!

  76. I wish I had thought of this trick in our old house with the bifold laundry room doors that constantly came off the track. I probably spent as much time rehanging them as it took you to do this entire redo. Seriously. Those doors and I were not friends and they were such a pain to get back on the track.

    I love the color and the yellow knobs. Definitely worth the $8 each and the Anthro trip. (Now what else did you buy there?)

  77. Following from the Let’s Get Social Sunday hop.

    The new doors have so much more character! I love it. Unfortunately for my family, my decorating skills are even less developed than my cooking abilities…and that is a scary thought! :p

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